Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Blessing of the New Year

This poem, meant to be repeated the first thing on the first day of the year, comes from throughout the Scottish Highlands in many different versions.

God, bless to me the new day,
Never vouchsafed to me before;
It is to bless your own presence
You have given me this time, O God.

Bless to my eye,
May my eye bless all it sees;
I will bless my neighbor,
May my neighbor bless me.

God, give me a clean heart,
Let me not from sight of your eye;
Bless to me my family,
And bless to me my means.

Ancient Celtic prayer collected by Alexander Carmichael (1832-1912), published in Carmina Gadelica (Edinburgh: Floris Books, 1992). These are prayers, hymns, and incantations collected in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland in the 19th century.

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